Over my years working with CAPS/ACSP (2011 – present), I have all-to-frequently witnessed postdocs frustrated with their employment opportunities. Both the 2013 CAPS/ACSP Postdoctoral Survey and the forthcoming 2016 survey (ask me in November) show that roughly 75% of postdocs are looking for a permanent position in the academy. Unfortunately, the reality is that there are not nearly enough academic positions to accommodate all of the postdocs currently in training as professors, and there is also too little guidance for postdocs regarding the development of alternate career goals.
One way to alleviate this issue is to introduce postdocs to other (often more lucrative) employment opportunities during their training. With that in mind, we at CAPS/ACSP are very excited to tell you about a company called TandemLaunch that guides inventors and researchers into careers as entrepreneurs and technologists.
Two years ago, my co-workers and I patented a better way to grow brain cells. I was asked by one of my supervisors if I wanted to start a company based on this technology. Although I liked the idea, I declined, because I realized that I didn’t have the necessary knowledge or support. Nine out of ten start-ups fail and I suspect that this is because young entrepreneurs tend to make the same mistakes and fall into the same traps. Not wishing to follow that path, I let this opportunity pass me by.
Earlier this year, a colleague invited me to join TandemLaunch briefly, to help them move an invention into the commercial realm. The founder, Helge Seetzen, managed to succeed with a company during his PhD and later realized that he could use his experience to help other young researchers commercialize their inventions. According to Helge, “TandemLaunch helps new entrepreneurs surpass the challenges that often cause companies to fail by leveraging our international industry and research connections. Unlike most start-up incubators, we are very hands-on – the Partners are heavily incentivized to guide our companies to succeed.”
I wish that I had known about TandemLaunch two years ago, as they provide precisely the kind of guidance and support that I was looking for at the time. I’m pleased to be able to introduce the company to postdoctoral researchers in Canada, so that you can all have a chance to push your ideas and inventions into application.
Please have a look at the information posted on the CAPS/ACSP website under Academic jobs and Non-Academic jobs, or just click on the advertisements at the bottom left of our homepage anytime to visit the TandemLaunch website directly for more information. And feel free to contact TandemLaunch directly if you have any questions – just be sure to tell them that CAPS/ACSP sent you.
Thank you and good luck!
Dr. Chris Corkery
CAPS/ACSP Chair, 2012-2013
CAPS/ACSP Past-Chair, 2013-2014
CAPS/ACSP Consultant, 2014-present